'I Felt Like The Ugly Duckling At Real'
'I Felt Like The Ugly Duckling At Real Madrid'
A player who struggled during the latter stages of his time at Real Madrid has insisted he felt like the "ugly duckling" at Los Blancos, and revealed what he learned from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Portuguese left back Fabio Coentrao joined Real for €30 million (R439 million) in 2011, and lifted nine trophies during his time at the club.
However, he made only six appearances in 2016/17, before joining Sporting Lisbon on a loan deal in this campaign.
He has rediscovered his form in Portugal, having made 33 appearances already this season, and has now opened up about his time with the Spanish giants.
"The first and third years were very good," he told Marca.
"I was a starter against Bayern and in some other difficult matches. We won the Champions League.
"I know I did a lot of bad things, played poorly in games and when I didn't work well generally, but I did some good things that people fail to recognise. That's why I felt like the ugly duckling.
"I don't care anymore, anyway. What I prefer to remember are the good years at Madrid, and I am very grateful for them."
Coentrao, who is also a Portugal teammate of Ronaldo's, also revealed what he learned from the five-time Ballon d'Or winner during his time in Madrid.
"Now that I'm not there, the only one I speak with is Cristiano Ronaldo, who is my friend and who is the best player in the world," he added.
"From Cristiano I learned to do my talking on the pitch."
The left back has made 52 appearances for the 2016 UEFA European Championship winners, but only one since October 2015. However, he could still jump on the train to join Portugal's 2018 FIFA World Cup squad.
Do you think Coentrao was unfairly treated during his time at Real? Have your say in the comments section below.